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Views of Feminism Today


jenafan
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4 hours ago, Stephen Hawking said:

The problem with feminism is, us men can't be right, for being wrong.

If I hold a door for you, I'm patronizing you.

If i don't hold a door open for you, I'm ignorant.

A friend of mine held a door open for a woman, and, as she passed through, she gave him a dirty look, and said "I hope you didn't do that because I'm a lady."

Quick as a flash (sorry, shouldn't mention that word :blush: ), my mate shot back "No, I did it because I'm a gentleman.", then let the door go, hitting her on the backside.

Poetic justice anyone? :) 

So gender equality as a whole is a problem because one lady was an asshole? :icon_rolleyes: No.  
I know a woman who was punched in the street by a male stranger last year, that doesn't mean all Men are going to act like that!

 

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ETA: It's interesting to note that, despite the alleged equality in society, I've never been chatted up/asked out by a woman, nor had one offer to buy me a drink.

It seems, it's still us men, who are supposed to do the chatting up/asking out, and buy the drinks.

 

Plenty of Men have been asked out/bought drinks - the fact that no Woman has ever asked you out could be down to a number of factors.

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15 hours ago, jenafan said:

OMG!  OMG!Thank you so much for this.   I didn't find your comments offensive or argumentative at all.    I found it very educational and eye opening.   It's like this thread has become therapy for me, not necessarily because it will change who I am, but because I better understand why I do the things the way I do and why the feminist movement has taken off as it has.   I also have a better understanding of what feminism is, and that it is not meant to degrade or demoralize men.  As you said, the pronoun in the term is very misleading regarding its intent.

No problem at all! :) 

There was an experiment a few years back where they surveyed people on social attitudes, one of the early question was 'do you consider yourself a feminist' a small number of the men surveyed said yes a larger number of women said yes (but not all of the women polled) there were other questions mixed in there to throw them off the scent and then one of the last questions was 'do you believe that Men and Women should be equal' nearly all respondents Male and Female said Yes - but (a lot) had previously said no to the feminism question! I prefer to refer to it as 'Gender Equality' when discussing these issues simply because of this.

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I never had an issue regarding men/women in careers.   I know many men who are great nurses, clean houses, etc. and successful women as engineers, sales people in a male-dominated industry, etc.   However, I will tell you being in HR and having an office job, that women are still being paid far less than men for what we do and are treated as the "paper pushers," because it is assumed that men wouldn't be good multi-taskers, would push back at their superiors, or just don't like that kind of thing.  We have a few men who are office managers in our industry, and it is always assumed that they are gay because of it, which I think is outright wrong!    I have always been the breadwinner in the family, having a steady job and making more money than my husband.   While he doesn't complain because he benefits, he does feel like less of a man because of it and has told me so.   There was one time for a period that he trumped me in salary, and he said it felt wonderful.  When I trumped him again, he was actually upset   I was like, what? I am bringing home more money again and you feel it demeans you as a man and head of our household? 

Lack of gender equality and the social conditioning that we all go through as children has led your husband to feel inadequate for something that he should actually be proud of! I'm willing to bet that he wants to be proud of you but there's a nagging voice in the back of his head that won't go away on the issue and that's really sad for him and a lot of other men in the same situation :( 

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My exposure to men being emotional has been limited.   My father and my husband do not cry.   I got punish growing up for crying because it was considered weak.   Nonetheless, in spite of all that, I cry a lot because I get very emotional about everything.   None of the men around me get it.   When I see men cry, it just touches my heart because I know they are so comfortable with themselves for doing it.

Trust me, they cry! You will just never have seen it.
My father in-law sat cold faced through his wife's funeral, married for 30 years, 2 kids, nursed her through lung cancer and watched her basically waste away but he did not cry because he was raised not to. He cried alone in his house with a bottle of whiskey later, which I would not have known about if we hadn't had to go round and look after him cus he got himself into such a mess. Men cry but (a lot of men) do not talk about the reasons behind the tears, bottle it up and explode at a later date.

 

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Regarding the sex part of your post, I loved every bit of it.   I am an extremely sexual being, as one can probably tell by my openness in my forum comments and my FF.  I always felt wrong for being that way.   In this area, I was also abused as a young girl and a teenager, but unlike some who shy away from it, I embraced it.   So, in a sense, I have broken another stereotype that abuse does not always equate to hatred.     I relate to it because it was the only form of "love" I knew.   When I met my demi-sexual husband, I became attracted to him because unlike any other man in my life, he was attracted to me for me and not for the sex, and I had to wait a long time for it.   Talk about patience, but it was the best thing that could have ever happened to me to break me from my mindset that I could only be loved if I put out.

I'm happy that you can be so open and honest about the things that happened to you and that talking about them here is helping you in some way. I grew up with people that had bad things happen to them, I'm not trying to generalise here this is just what happened to the people I knew, the girls tried to find love in all the wrong places and the boys went the other way fighting, getting in trouble and pushing people away. The fact that you have come out of your childhood a successful working woman with a happy marriage is nothing short of a miracle and you should be very proud! I'm proud of you and I don't even really know you :) 

That bolded part - please don't ever feel wrong for being you! 

 

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Now, here is the reason I have always had such a negative view of feminism and women being dominant over men:

I have seen women who hoard it over men by insulting, putting them down, and calling them good for nothing, insulting them in public and basically stealing their dignity.   I've seen women withhold sex from men as punishment or as a tool to gain the upper hand.   I've seen women who have managed to convince their husbands to alienate themselves from their entire families, including mother, in order to have complete control over him.  I've seen women who raise sons, who as adults cannot make decisions in their own households without consulting Mom, making their wives feel like second-class citizens.   I've seen women who try to raise their children's children because they don't believe their own children are capable.    This is what I thought feminism was all about.

So, I appreciate all of the information that has been shared on this thread because I'm starting to realize that feminism is not so much the issue I have, as it is individual behavior and believing I have to hide who I am to fit into a specific mold that I've been told I belong.

I think I am more of a feminist than I give myself credit for, but I don't want to associate myself with the title because of the negative connotations that come from those who take it to extremes or don't really understand what it's all about.   Like you said, it's gender equality for both sexes, not just women.

 

Women who do things like this and describe it as feminism are hypocrites, they are doing exactly what they claim to hate and much like people who speak out on religious issues and then end up involved in sex scandals they are damaging what they claim is their cause!

 

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I said in a previous post that I love men's masculinity, but it does bother me when they are afraid to dress in colors, do specific things, cross their legs a certain way, or show emotion because they think it will be questioned.  My husband is one of them.

Unfortunately I don't think that the 'little voice' telling some guys not to wear that pink T shirt will ever go away, much like some men not being able to enjoy their wives being perceived to be more successful it is too ingrained in our psyche. BUT we can raise the next generation to wear all the pink shirts they want!

Men not wearing Pink Tee's is just silly cus look at how manly Chris Evans is in a pink shirt: 

tumblr_nazqrgl4zR1sv18gso1_500.png.02025

 

Women being afraid of looking masculine is silly too cus look how good Scarlett Johansson looks in a  suit!:

567775bd37ca8_ScreenShot2015-12-21at03.0

 

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I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off of my shoulders as a result of this discussion.    Thank you for participating.

Thank you for starting it! :) I like a bit of fluff but I also like interesting in depth discussion like this too, well done!

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Aww, I will always have a soft sport for La Greer (however much I may disagree with her on all sorts of things) because I remember the breathless feeling I had reading The Female Eunuch.

I agree with Von Brainstorm that gender roles are frequently just as harmful and limiting to men as they are to women. It is harmful to systematically shove any person into a role or a way of being simply by accident of birth- whether that be race, sex, sexual orientation, economic class or caste, whatever. You shouldn't feel compelled to follow certain professions, like activities or disciplines, dress a certain way, have sex (or not) a certain way, talk, eat or think a certain way, just because you're a woman or a man. 

You like flowers and pretty clothes? Great. You don't? Also fine. You are not being a traitor to your sex if you like pretty dresses or crisp, tailored trousers (or- here's a crazy thought- both!), if you kinda like it when a dude kisses your hand or holds the door open for you (as I have held the door open for many a male friend and colleague in my time). 

I agree that 'gender equality' is probably a more useful term than 'feminism', but the 'little voice' that says that it is okay for a woman to dress in tailored trousers, but not for a man to wear skirts (unless it's a kilt)? I think that is the reason that 'feminism' still has a purpose. So long as there is a greater stigma attached to overtly 'female' things- so long as half the world's population is presumed to be passive, weak, unfit for purpose- yet still miraculously responsible for men's reactions to them, especially violent sexual ones- I am happy to call myself a 'feminist', and will happily accept the stigma of rage, humourlessness and misandry. Those who can be convinced, will be, and those who cannot- well, 'gender equality' would probably set them off too.

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It goes without saying that after reading such insightful discussions from everyone who has so respectfully contributed, I have come to the conclusion that my issues stem from the fact that I have attempted to justify the horrible things that have happened in my life by men into a form that fits into the mold they've created for me rather than customizing my own mold to break away from the need to please and be accepted by others, not just men, even when I know they are wrong.  

In some aspects, such as my career, I have succeeded, but on a personal level I still fall short and find myself being the shrinking violet.    I concentrate so much on loving others, that I fail to love and give myself credit or permission for being me.    Even my choice of a marriage mate was based on my perceived notions of how a marriage is supposed to function, and it has worked for us.   We are happy, but I continue to struggle with the balance of honoring my husband's role in my life with the independence that I want to embrace so badly.    I actually think the hubby would be happier if I did stand up for myself more, especially with my father who still has a way of manipulating me because I let him.  

I am a generous, loving, and kind person.    I have a voice, but I do little to back up that voice, except on my opinions of Shamy.  LOL!   I guess I'm afraid that if I think too much about it, I will begin to hate the world around me.  However, I think my even opening up this discussion topic shows that I am seeking some sort of peace with this through the insight of others.

When I think on it, these men have been subjected to misguidance and socialization of what is considered acceptable, or not, just as I have. 

In essence we are all victims, as I go again trying to find a means to excuse bad behavior as what it really is, simply horrid and inexcusable.   This goes both for abusive and disrespectful men as well is the feminazis created by them, who try to force the belief that equal and fair treatment of both sexes is something absurd and to be abolished.

Kind of like the good Samaritan, I miss the days where there was a distinction on some things that separated men from women.   I lament the disappearance of men opening car doors for women, paying for dates, covering over water puddles before walking over, asking for consent.   Seeing a well-bred southern gentlemen in a dashing well-tailored suit and his belle in a beautiful dress and petticoats has always melted me.    In a world where men can be so extremely violent and disrespectful to women, it would be nice to still be able to count on a those who treat a lady as a lady and for the women to see it as gesture of high-esteem for their sex, rather than as an insult.   

I'm with Stephen here, even when men try to be kind and show a woman honor, they figuratively get slapped in the face.   For someone like myself who has not always had favorable experiences with the opposite sex, these gestures go a long way to remind me that good people do exist, trying to expose themselves in a world of women who try to shut them down because they feel otherwise.

Just because one sex or the other have rights, does not necessarily mean that their rights, are in fact right.   A man wants to open a door for a woman, and woman doesn't want him to.   A woman expects a man to open the door for her, and he doesn't feel he should.  In both scenarios, rights are being exercised.    Who gets to make that decision?   I think these are the areas when everything becomes blurred.   In the end, the one insisting on his/her right wins, but then offense is caused to the other.   IMO, the entire system is broken where no one really knows or can assume their role as male or female anymore.

All suffer.   Those who want a distinction by behavior guided on principle as well as those who don't.  

Edited by jenafan

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19 hours ago, Stephen Hawking said:

The problem with feminism is, us men can't be right, for being wrong.

If I hold a door for you, I'm patronizing you.

If i don't hold a door open for you, I'm ignorant.

A friend of mine held a door open for a woman, and, as she passed through, she gave him a dirty look, and said "I hope you didn't do that because I'm a lady."

Quick as a flash (sorry, shouldn't mention that word :blush: ), my mate shot back "No, I did it because I'm a gentleman.", then let the door go, hitting her on the backside.

Poetic justice anyone? :) 

ETA: It's interesting to note that, despite the alleged equality in society, I've never been chatted up/asked out by a woman, nor had one offer to buy me a drink.

It seems, it's still us men, who are supposed to do the chatting up/asking out, and buy the drinks.

See, those people? Are arseholes. I don't think it's a man's job to give up his seat for me on the tube, but I am very appreciative when he does.

As to why women don't make sexual approaches more often: well, it's on the increase, but part of it is a chicken-and-egg situation about social norms and acceptable behaviour, and part of it is fear.

As to the social norms: well, if you are worried that- however much you fancy a chap- you'll put him off by chasing, then you are less likely to do it. Even if you believe that that stuff is nonsense, and even if you know, intellectually, that any man who believes that stuff is not a man you really want to be chasing anyway. Because- hey, guess what?- women have libidos too, and they too shy away from testing handsome strangers and getting disappointing results. Just the same way that men don't want their ideals about beautiful women shattered. And so the social norms remain intact, or don't change as quickly as they should. Because, unfortunately, women haven't unionised sufficiently (The Fellows of the Fallopian Tube!) to give each other the signal to go out and hit on dudes they fancy, in large enough numbers that the norms have to bend to accommodate them.

As to the fear: well, women are, on average, likelier to be assaulted than are men. Obviously, not all or even most men are going to attack or abuse another human being, but, on average, you would expect member of the group likelier to be assaulted to be more...circumspect....about approaching the group likelier to do the assaulting.

Again, this does NOT mean that it is okay to be a dick to someone who is trying to be nice, or that the baseline assumption is that all men are attackers. Of course not. But- well- this is what the patriarchy (which is NOT exclusively the fault of men) has wrought.

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Sometimes I shake my head at how a kind gesture, can be taken as offensive.  A person opening the door for another is a kind gesture to me.  When that happens for me, I always smile and say thank-you.  I don't feel I am owed that, but when it happens it is always nice.  In turn, I try to be kind to others when I have the opportunity.

I've been thinking a lot about your experience that you have shared with us.  I want to echo what some others have said, that with all that you've been through, I think you have a great attitude and you have a loving relationship and a successful career.  You've done really well for yourself. 

Life is always about learning and growing.  I'd like to encourage you to try to start to discover what you, Jenafan, as a person enjoy doing, and taking the time and really enjoying that activity.  Perhaps new things that you've always wondered about, but perhaps not have tried for the worry of what others would think.  Something that would actually give you true pleasure and happiness.  I think it will aid in healing your soul, and not seeing the world as a dark and negative place.  I hope in doing so, you will slowly discover who you really are with your own dreams, hopes and interests.   I hope you will realize and truly feel in your heart and soul that you are a good person, free of any one else's expectations other than your own.

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19 hours ago, nibbler747 said:

Everyone should have the right to openly celebrate their own religious holidays, without worry about offending others.

Absolutely. As an Agnostic, I don't celebrate Christmas, but I don't object to others doing so.

Likewise, if I happen to be at my friend's house, on Friday evening, I'll join them for their Shabbat dinner.

19 hours ago, jenafan said:

For me, it is because I was always taught it was a no no.

I really wish women would ask men out.

It's exhausting, always having to do all the running.

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We teach our children (who are boys) that they should hold the door open for people, for example when we are going through the doors at the train station and there are a lot of people coming and going, ALL people not just the girls.

I was always taught that it was the polite thing to do, not the gender specific thing to do!

@Stephen Hawking I don't know how old you are but young women ARE asking young Men out, I'd imagine that Women of a certain age have grown up believing that the Man should be the one doing the chasing but that is not the case in today's world.

Women are asking Men out, they are the ones doing the chasing a lot of the time and even asking their boyfriends to marry them, just because you haven't personally experienced this does not mean it is not the social norm.

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True that.

If I didn't invite my boyfriend in, if it weren't me who kissed him first and so on, we wouldn't be a couple.

He has been too shy to do anything like that.

We are very happy that I managed to be the active part

Another anecdote: my ex boyfriend concerned himself as feminist.

So he didn't invite me for dinner/ cinema, didn't pay drinks etc. So it was always me who did the payment...

I did it because I wanted to show him my affection, but getting nothing back has been very hard for me.

So in retrospective..he's not a feminist, but an ashole who didn't believe in equality at all.

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First, my thanks to @nibbler747 for inviting me to come and read this thread. It has been a fascinating read, and confirmed my thoughts about not only feminism, but sexism (not in the negative connotation; merely the differences between gender roles) and society in general. Essentially, there is no right answer. There is only what an individual is created from (nature, or biology) and what that same individual has experienced (nurture).

@jenafan: I applaud your great openness and honesty, both from the perspective of starting this thread, and from your very personal history you have revealed here. As a mother, I cried when I read of your great challenges in life with your family, particularly with your father. I am glad that it appears that you have been able to forgive him. What a great gift to give yourself.

On 12/20/2015 at 4:43 AM, jenafan said:

   I found it very educational and eye opening.   It's like this thread has become therapy for me, not necessarily because it will change who I am, but because I better understand why I do the things the way I do and why the feminist movement has taken off as it has.   I also have a better understanding of what feminism is, and that it is not meant to degrade or demoralize men.  As you said, the pronoun in the term is very misleading regarding its intent.

I never had an issue regarding men/women in careers.   I know many men who are great nurses, clean houses, etc. and successful women as engineers, sales people in a male-dominated industry, etc.   However, I will tell you being in HR and having an office job, that women are still being paid far less than men for what we do and are treated as the "paper pushers," because it is assumed that men wouldn't be good multi-taskers, would push back at their superiors, or just don't like that kind of thing.  We have a few men who are office managers in our industry, and it is always assumed that they are gay because of it, which I think is outright wrong!    I have always been the breadwinner in the family, having a steady job and making more money than my husband.   While he doesn't complain because he benefits, he does feel like less of a man because of it and has told me so.   There was one time for a period that he trumped me in salary, and he said it felt wonderful.  When I trumped him again, he was actually upset   I was like, what? I am bringing home more money again and you feel it demeans you as a man and head of our household? 

My exposure to men being emotional has been limited.   My father and my husband do not cry.   I got punish growing up for crying because it was considered weak.   Nonetheless, in spite of all that, I cry a lot because I get very emotional about everything.   None of the men around me get it.   When I see men cry, it just touches my heart because I know they are so comfortable with themselves for doing it.

Regarding the sex part of your post, I loved every bit of it.   I am an extremely sexual being, as one can probably tell by my openness in my forum comments and my FF.  I always felt wrong for being that way.   In this area, I was also abused as a young girl and a teenager, but unlike some who shy away from it, I embraced it.   So, in a sense, I have broken another stereotype that abuse does not always equate to hatred.     I relate to it because it was the only form of "love" I knew.   When I met my demi-sexual husband, I became attracted to him because unlike any other man in my life, he was attracted to me for me and not for the sex, and I had to wait a long time for it.   Talk about patience, but it was the best thing that could have ever happened to me to break me from my mindset that I could only be loved if I put out.

(portions deleted for space consideration)

I said in a previous post that I love men's masculinity, but it does bother me when they are afraid to dress in colors, do specific things, cross their legs a certain way, or show emotion because they think it will be questioned.  My husband is one of them.

I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off of my shoulders as a result of this discussion.    Thank you for participating.

I found the above words of yours (in bold font for purposes of discussion) extremely interesting. 

I agree that discussions of this sort, with many people of many different backgrounds (socio-economic, geographic, religious, etc) has been very effective for me. I believe it has made me better able to work with others in my professional and social life.  If this thread becomes a form of therapy for you, all the better. But a very close family member of mine has suffered the ill effects of emotional abuse... as harmful in many ways as the physical abuse you suffered as a child... and I pray you have already sought professional assistance in this regard. I've seen the damage first hand.  Please know, I respect entirely your wishes to keep your life as much as you like to yourself. I want you to know, however... it's never too late to consider that option.

Your concern for your husband as secondary "bread-winner" is interesting to me personally. Both my husband and I are professionals, and while he earns a respectable wage, I have a doctorate and earn substantially more than him. He has joked about being "a kept man," but when it comes to the decisions of this family, what we each bring in numerically has no bearing. Our financial decisions (outside of minor day-to-day ones) have always been joint ones. It is, for me, the only way I know to be. 

Similarly, I have known men who are able to openly cry (my husband) and men who have great difficulty with being open about their pain (my father). It is a matter of upbringing, in this case. I think my husband is a healthier emotional person than my father ever was.  Dad carried a lot of baggage all his life from the negative aspects of his upbringing. My Dad went out of his way to make certain we all knew we were loved. He died suddenly 18 years ago this month, and I can still feel his love. I know, however, that my husband is healthier because is much more open about all his feelings, good and bad.

"... the only form of "love" I knew." Oh, Jenafan. God bless you, sweetheart. Those seven words speak volumes of your life to the point you met your husband. I truly hope you have learned since that you are worthy of far more and far better.

Others have addressed the issue of "masculinity," so I will add only this: I have known men who are both exceedingly driven to avoid these "questionable gender" things, and others who haven't a care what others think. The emotional abuser I spoke of before is very driven by these things... for one, he wouldn't be caught dead wearing pink, and nearly had a conniption when his son was asked to sit in a pink car seat.  His sons both are exhibiting the same determination to avoid those things you mention. My son sat in the same car seat, and as I pointed out to the other boys, he's still a boy. Truly, this is a matter of "experience" and what one deems is important.

Lastly, and most importantly, I am so glad you feel this discussion has been beneficial for your heart and mind. I believe you will find friends in this forum... I have found several that I converse with regularly, and they have been a true blessing to me.  They provide differences in perspective, and they lift me up when I have times of trouble. I have oft heard that the internet is a negative, ugly place. The only things you will read are hateful; people who hide behind the anonymity afforded them on line.

I am here to say I am a better person for the souls here, and I am grateful for them.

God Bless.

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@Beckyseyedoc thank you so much for your very kind words.

Please be assured that I have received professional help, starting in college and beyond, for my emotional and physical abuse.    However, it is one-on-one, based on one individual's opinion and training.   On here, I'm getting feedback from several people from all different walks of life from the real world.    As you said, each of us are shaped by our upbringing and experiences that we may have in common with some, but these experiences also make us unique.  

It is educational and therapeutic at the same time.   Yes, I could go grab a self-help book or read an article, but it is not interactive like this forum that I love so much.    I don't have any other social networking sites, nor do I plan to because I don't feel safe there, but I feel safe here because of our common interests in this show and our ships.  

Sometimes I believe I am more open than I should be, but people cannot help me to understand things better if they don't know the things that drive my behavior, my attitude, and my opinions.

Feminism has always been a topic that has raised the hairs on my back so-to-speak because it seemed to go against everything that I was raised to believe was a woman's proper place.    You'd think after all of my bad experiences with the opposite sex I would have learned to hate men and embraced the definition of feminism that I perceived before starting this thread.

Even my therapists could not understand how I can have such a big heart and be so forgiving of those who have hurt me, how I can embrace my sexuality when it has been used against me, how I can crave the simplest touch such as a hand on my shoulder or a hug when those same hands have left bruises and scars physically, emotionally, and mentally.

My husband is extremely masculine and avoids anything that might make him appear less so.   I've discussed some of his issues to provide evidence to support how men are victims of being taught inequality as much as women.   However, I want to make it clear that he has never physically hurt me in any way.   He's always been my exception.

I would like to add that my experiences are another reason why I believe one's sexual orientation is not a choice.   I am a heterosexual to the core.   In spite of the way I've been treated, I am attracted to men, and I find reasons to find beauty in them to support my draw.   I didn't suddenly become asexual, with no desire for sex, or a homosexual preferring to be with my own sex.     This is different than someone who chooses not to have sex for reasons having nothing to do with orientation.    This is just another issue that I would be flogged for if anyone in my family ever knew I believed in sexual equality for all.

Feminism, on the other hand, is a choice, and although I see now that it is equality for both sexes, it's the ones that take it to the extreme that cause me not to want to identify with the terminology or behavior behind it.    Some of it, though, is because I resent myself for not enforcing equality towards me and in essence have failed to support the cause for women who are treated unfairly.   Perhaps now, after the discussions on this thread, I will have more strength to do so.

If nothing else, it's got me wanting to cower less and start showing my true colors, which are quite beautiful even if some want to refuse to see a rainbow behind my expressions.

I am a huge Shamy shipper because I see two broken people who succeed in spite of themselves, society, and social convention.   They make their world their own and don't care what anyone else thinks about it.   To me it is a true love story that brings me delight in a society full of so much misery and chaos where the rules governed by those who try to control it think they know what they are doing but fail to bring us peace.

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I'm a feminist (I've been told I'm a bad one by a poster on here actually, LOL!).  My husband is also a feminist.  My children are raised  gender equally (I've been told that this has made my elder son gay by 'friends' (ahem) and family members, seems I should have locked him in his room and not let him out until he displayed as heterosexual, another LOL!).  I was raised by a single parent mother, while my husband is the product of a traditional 1950's marriage (his mother stayed home to raise the children and did all the housework, his father worked and his tea was ready on the table when he got home). My husband is not a feminist because I am.  He is a feminist because he truly believes in gender equality despite his rather patriarchal upbringing.  We both believe that a person doing the same job should be paid the same money and, as an employer, he ensure this happens in his company.  He's a hairdresser by trade btw (a rather camp one actually, bless him). I moved into HR myself when my youngest started school and yes, you're right, there is a huge gender pay gap. This is uniform in all industries, no less in acting (which was the career I left in order to raise my family - a joint decision made with my husband as his work was more stable and the money consistent whereas my pay-cheques, though larger, were as and when I got cast) and all hail Kaley Cuoco and her equal pay to the male leads, or all hail her agent at any rate! Interesting that Kaley does not associate herself with feminism despite this, also interesting that it was during these fee negotiations that she decided to cut off her hair.  As mentioned by the posters above, there are some horrible connotations associated with the 'F' word, and it doesn't surprise me that Kaley sought to distance herself. The more people who embrace the word, then the more acceptance and understanding there will be of what feminism actually is.  However, if it still makes you wince, equalism or egalitarianism are very similar terms and encompass more than gender by including race and social equality.

There are 'waves' of feminism.  The ball-breakers you are referring to are more likely second-wave (the Germaine Greer set) but, as a third-wave myself, I don't differentiate between a woman telling another woman how she should live her life and a man doing the same thing.  I try to view people simply as people myself. Similarly, I do not salute the 'terrorism' of the suffragettes.  I do not believe that the message 'I am your equal in every way' is supported by violent acts and, of course, all perpetrators of terror will claim their cause justifies it; it doesn't: Not ever! (Oh dear, perhaps I am a bad feminist after all!)

Jena, I am so sad about your upbringing, I wish I could send you a hug through the keyboard. You know, we are all victims of our own circumstance and, while it will undoubtedly shape who we are, as adults in Western civilisation we are extremely fortunate to have freedom of choice, your husband too.  Society puts so many shackles on us, male and female, we need to be strong to break free.

And not just society, religious upbringing too, and speaking to Stephen here, since the Garden of Eden a woman's sexuality has been seen as destructive and sinful (the reason we all die if I'm not wrong) so, as religion declines in the West, you will see a change in the 'shamefulness' of women's agency in seeking a partner.  Actually, thinking on this, Mayim's views surprise me somewhat.  I understood her to be rather devout and her blog seems to contradict the rules of Kosher Sex, namely:- 

Sex is the woman's right, not the man's. A man has a duty to give his wife sex regularly and to ensure that sex is pleasurable for her. He is also obligated to watch for signs that his wife wants sex, and to offer it to her without her asking for it. The woman's right to sexual intercourse is referred to as onah, and it is one of a wife's three basic rights (the others are food and clothing), which a husband may not reduce. TheTalmud specifies both the quantity and quality of sex that a man must give his wife. It specifies the frequency of sexual obligation based on the husband's occupation, although this obligation can be modified in the ketubah (marriage contract). A man may not take a vow to abstain from sex for an extended period of time, and may not take a journey for an extended period of time, because that would deprive his wife of sexual relations. In addition, a husband's consistent refusal to engage in sexual relations is grounds for compelling a man to divorce his wife, even if the couple has already fulfilled thehalakhic obligation to procreate.

Full page is here; http://www.jewfaq.org/sex.htm (if you're interested in reading more).

Anyway, I'll end on a positive, Jena, reading your posts on your childhood brought this poem to mind.  It perfectly sums up my own thinking and I hope it gives you strength.

On Children
 Kahlil Gibran

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts, 
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, 
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, 
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, 
and He bends you with His might 
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies, 
so He loves also the bow that is stable.

Bill Bailey This is what a feminist looks like.jpg

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On 10-1-2016 at 0:46 AM, ATOB said:

 the rules of Kosher Sex, namely:- 

Sex is the woman's right, not the man's. A man has a duty to give his wife sex regularly and to ensure that sex is pleasurable for her. He is also obligated to watch for signs that his wife wants sex, and to offer it to her without her asking for it. The woman's right to sexual intercourse is referred to as onah, and it is one of a wife's three basic rights (the others are food and clothing), which a husband may not reduce. TheTalmud specifies both the quantity and quality of sex that a man must give his wife. It specifies the frequency of sexual obligation based on the husband's occupation, although this obligation can be modified in the ketubah (marriage contract). A man may not take a vow to abstain from sex for an extended period of time, and may not take a journey for an extended period of time, because that would deprive his wife of sexual relations. In addition, a husband's consistent refusal to engage in sexual relations is grounds for compelling a man to divorce his wife, even if the couple has already fulfilled thehalakhic obligation to procreate.

 

Thanks, very funny.

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On 12/20/2015 at 0:45 AM, Einstein Von Brainstorm said:

Wow, ok I have no idea how to give my view on this without sounding somewhat confrontational, BUT you did say that you thought your views on feminism might be somewhat ‘skewed' so I’m gonna give my opinion and please know that I am not trying to be argumentative here and in no way do I mean any disrespect to your religious upbringing @jenafan ! <3 

 

The literal definition of ‘Feminism’ (from the Oxford dictionary) is:

The advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes.

The word/movement began because Women did not have the same rights as Men, hence the “Fem” part but it is about all genders being considered equal and I think the fact that the word itself uses a gender pronoun is where a lot of the confusion about feminism stems from.  The word itself is suffering from a serious PR issue as it comes across as a female issue only when it really isn’t.

When I was young and I heard the word Feminist it conjured up images of Germaine Greer’s bitter twisted little face saying controversial nonsense on television to publicise her books! It wasn’t until I was exposed to the other side of Feminism that I realised how wrong I had personally been about it.

I was involved in a discussion (when I was a teenager) about Male Nurses, both the Boys and the Girls in the discussion considered nursing to be something of an embarrassment as a profession for a man because it was a woman’s job, so I piped up and asked if they thought the reverse was true, that Women should not be Doctors? the answer was a resounding “no, of course not women can do any job they want!” and another member of the group said “…then why can’t Men choose to be Nurses...?” - confused faces all round. That’s when I thought I had better take another glance at this thing they call Feminism. 

There are many roles in life that were traditionally gender based, for example Women fed the babies so Women stayed at home to raise them while the Men went out to provide. The baby cried for food in the middle of the night, the parent with the milk had to get up and see to the child. This is no longer the case, Men can stay at home with the babies while the Mother’s work, times move along and we are living in a society (at least in the west) that allows for that. If that is what the family chooses to do. There is nothing un-feminist about choosing to be a stay at home mother, a company executive or even a stripper! Women have the right to chose which profession they go into as much as Men.

Women being weaker than Men is a complete falsehood. Some Men are stronger than some Women this is true.
As an in-show example, if Sheldon were to get into the UFC Octagon with Penny, Penny would kick his ass! but if Zach and Bernadette were to do battle it would be a very different story. Not all women are physically weaker than all men and vice versa. 

Women being emotionally weaker than Men is also not entirely true: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1119278/ 

This study found that female infants displayed "self regulation of emotional states” whilst the boys displayed "more distress and demands for contact"

Interesting snippet from this article:

The infant Males were more emotional than the Females, by a certain age though the boys (above) are still emotionally reacting but they have learnt to mask any feelings which are not considered masculine. Are Women more prone to emotional response because of their biological make up? or is it also a socially learnt behaviour like the boys above?

From a very young age girls are taught that it is ok for them to show emotion whereas boys are told that they shouldn’t cry whilst being encouraged to show aggression, like in sport for example and the classic “boys will be boys!” when they get into fights. This is very damaging to both genders as it can lead to fully grown Women who believe they can’t do certain things because they are too weak emotionally/physically and fully grown Men who repress any emotion bar aggression. This ‘negative masculinity’ has been postulated as the reason Men commit suicide at a 3:1 ration to Women and it is a big part of why everyone needs feminism.

Gender equality is so, so important for all genders! little boys need to be allowed to cry, fully grown men need to go to the doctor when they are sick instead of trying to ‘man up’ through it, feminism isn’t just for the fems! 

When it comes to relationship between any two individuals, regardless of genders, it should be an equal partnership where both parties have an equal say in everything that happens.

In my house when an issue arrises there is a debate where both parties put forward their positions and if after a while neither of us has changed the other’s opinion or found a middle ground solution then one of us does indeed get the deciding vote, or as you put it have the ‘headship’ I won’t say which one that is :wink: but one of us is naturally more submissive personality wise. Luckily we have never reached a ‘red line’ issue that would make us decide to call it quits!  

Usually in a relationship one person is more assertive and the other more submissive  there is nothing un-feminist at all about the Woman choosing to be the submissive half of the equation but the attitude that it has to be the Man who’s in charge is where a lot of people take offence with many religious traditions and the symbolism that goes along with that i.e. the walking a Daughter down the aisle. 

A Man preferring his wife have long hair is fine, a Man telling his wife that she has to keep her hair long is not. 

The idea of Girls being told from the start that when they grow up a Man will rule them and Boys being told they will be in charge of Women when they become Men is very toxic territory, you are subconsciously telling both genders that Women/Girls are property. I don't need to say why that attitude is dangerous.

 

 

 

HERE COMES THE SEX PART OF THIS POST! look away if you’re upset about that sort of thing… NOW!

As for the physical relationship again, there are a lot of misconceptions out there!

Sex drive is not determined by gender, as I’m sure you know from your personal experience with you husband, some Women have higher Drives than men and vice versa.

Although rare, Men can have multiple orgasms, 30% of Men have admitted to ‘faking’ orgasms and they are not guaranteed an orgasm upon ejaculation either!  

(If anyone is really interested in learning about the Male multiple there how there are ‘how to’ guides written by users on Reddit, I won’t link to them here though cus they are quite crudely worded)

Gender equality is important for both genders (I feel like I've typed that a zillion times now lol) where sex is concerned because a lot of young Women genuinely think it is meant to hurt their first time!, that they most likely won't have an orgasm very often and that if a boy deems them worthy enough of his attention/buys them dinner that they are somehow obligated to 'put out' 

Young Men are stigmatised for things like performing oral sex on their women, there is actually quite a crude slang word for it in the UK and a whole thing where guys call each other gay for doing it! - How having any sort of sex with a woman makes a boy gay I don't know but there you have it! 

It took my other half and I a long time to 'unlearn' a lot of gender stereotypes that we were sticking to in our relationship but once we did we were both a lot happier in both our day to day lives and our night time life! 

I feel very sad for teenage me back then having that conversation about doctors and nurses, thinking that I had to act a certain way because of the gender I was born to and I'm so glad that I had that epiphany all those years ago that Boys and Girls can do whatever they want or I would have missed out on some of the coolest and most emotionally rewarding moments of my life :) 

There is so much Win in this post.  Where's that frame?  I need it STAT!

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On 12/24/2015 at 3:06 AM, jenafan said:

I am a huge Shamy shipper because I see two broken people who succeed in spite of themselves, society, and social convention.   They make their world their own and don't care what anyone else thinks about it.

That is one of the most insightful things I've ever read.

It describes the Shamy relationship, perfectly.

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